Yoani Sanchez made one more stop before leaving South Florida, and this time the discussion was in 140 characters or less. NBC 6's Hank Tester reports.
Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez made one more stop before leaving South Florida, and this time the discussion was in 140 characters or less.
Sanchez participated in a Tweet Up at the Adrienne Arsht Center Wednesday afternoon hosted by Cuban-American youth group Roots of Hope.
She spoke about the role technology, specifically Twitter, has had in bringing about social change.
Twitter users engaged in the conversation by tweeting questions at Sanchez with the hashtags #AskYoani or #YoaniResponde. The questions and responses appeared on a large screen behind Sanchez.
The audience comprised of both older and younger attendees, including Cuban-American actor Andy Garcia.
Tony Jimenez, one of the event’s organizers and a Roots of Hope co-founder, said Sanchez has used social media to connect younger and older Cubans.
"There has never been a figure as Yoani Sanchez who has the sensibilities and sort of understanding of both generations," said Tony Jimenez, Roots of Hope co-founder. "She is in a way serving as a bridge to communicate to both generations."
Roots of Hope member Ana Colles said, that even as a Cuban-American growing up in Miami, she did not understand what was going on in Cuba.
"Opportunities like this enable us to understand better," she said.
Now, Colles says she has conversations with her parents about Cuba that she has never had before.
Sanchez, who writes the Generación Y blog, arrived in Miami last week as part of a world tour to talk about life in Cuba.
Sanchez made appearances at Miami Dade College's Freedom Tower and at Florida International University on Monday where she spoke about keeping Cubans united after exile.
"We cannot allow ourselves to keep being divided," Sanchez said in Spanish during her speech at the Freedom Tower.
Earlier last week, she met Florida Senator Marco Rubio in Washington to discuss expanding internet access in Cuba.
Sanchez, who has nearly half a million Twitter followers, is not as well-known in Cuba where Internet access is limited.
"Through her Generación Y blog, Yoani has given the rest of the world valuable insights into daily life in Cuba and, more importantly, given us a glimpse of what brave, Cuban democracy advocates like her can do with a little bit of Internet access,” Rubio said in a statement. “I believe expanding Internet access to Cuba is an important foreign policy goal we should work towards, so that many more can follow Yoani’s lead and help expose the reality of the regime’s inept and repressive nature."
Take a look at the Twitter conversation: